Biobuilder – Build your own bioeconomy from resource to product

The bioeconomy consists of all activities linked to the production of biomass and the different ways biomass, and its residues, are used afterwards. At first sight this may seem a very simple. However, the truth is that the bioeconomy is incredibly complex, it has many different facets and a large number of stakeholders are involved. The bioeconomy is:

  • Interdisciplinary: agriculture, forestry, research, education, industry, energy, environment,…
  • Multi-actor: producer, consumer, investor, researcher, policy maker,…
  • Multi-feedstock: wood, grass, manure, straw, maize, organic residues,…
  • Multi-product: feed, food, materials, green chemicals, bioenergy,…
  • Multi-topic: economics, ecology, technology, and societyP1090278

On top of that, an integrated value chain approach is crucial for the bioeconomy and terms as cascading and resource efficiency are key. We noticed that during workshops, strategy exercises, brainstorms, business case developments, education, projectdefining,… or in short ‘discussion moments’ concerning the bioeconomy, it is hard to keep focus and create structure. The message is not alwasys clear, or even worse, is misunderstood, ideas get lost and the result is seldomly kept. We concluded that there is a need for a ‘visual tool’ during these kind of discussion moments. As a result the idea of developing a ‘Biobuilder’ was raised.

Together with VITO, we started brainstorming about the tool. Our first thought was that the concept of the ‘Biobuilder’ needed to be simple and easy to use during discussion moments without a long introduction. Users should not need a training or should not read a manual before getting started.  Furthermore, our goal was that the concept should be usable in different ways. Finally, we recognized that the tool was a mean and not the goal in itself. Remember that the goal is to come up with great ideas, to provide inside, to structure a meeting,… and the tool should only facilitate in this.

Curious about what we came up with?

Well, the ‘biobuilder’ consists of a set of hexagonal wooden tiles in which every tile is one aspect of the bioeconomy. This can be feedstock, processing technology or output materials. By linking the tiles to each other, bioeconomy value chains are created. As such it litteraly makes the bioeconomy visible and tangible allowing the particpants to keep focus. ‘Biobuilder’ is interactive and provides the ideal setting for stimulating discussion. The participants can identify the strengths and weaknesses of a bioeconomy value chain and this for policy, economic, as well as technological aspects.

Do you also see the added value of our ‘Biobuilder’ or have ideas to improve it, please let us know!

Biobuilder 1       Biobuilder (2)


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